Review Roundup: Witch Hunter Records Special

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The year might be coming to an end but for Witch Hunter Records, the releases keep coming, and one of the UK’s finest independent labels has rounded off another fine year with three more releases, all of which we roundup in a special label-centric feature.

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First up, we have Old Wounds, a New Jersey trio with their debut release for the label, ‘II’. Three tracks of fast furious crusty hardcore, all clicking in under two minutes in length. This serves as a taster for a future full length which should see release in 2013. Fans of the likes of Cursed and Converge to name but two should have no problem getting their teeth into this, which snarls and bites at every turn.

Buy/download ‘II‘ here
Stream it below:

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image Second up is Atragon, a Scottish quintet who play trudging doom metal in its truest form. The two tracks of ‘Volume 1’ conjure up images of Crowbar jamming with Sabbath, after smoking a giant Electric Wizard spliff. The second, fifteen minute ‘Jesus Wept’ is a galloper of a doom tune that reaches a slow impasse halfway through and elongates it for all its worth, squeezing every last drop of sweat from lore and listener. The vocals and drums are a little low in the mix for my liking but this doesn’t compromise the quality too much, and this is a promising statement from a band of misers.

Buy/download ‘Volume 1‘ here (name-your-price)
Stream it below:

Official site
Bandcamp
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Finally, we have a full-length from stoner rock crew Mage, entitled ‘Black Sands’, which the promotional flyer calls ‘for fans of Kyuss, Corrosion of Conformity and Goatsnake’ And wow, as a fan of all those bands, I was not disappointed. True, vocalist Tom possesses some of the same tones as one John Garcia, and you might swear you’ve heard some of these riffs before, but these are some mighty grooves from start to finish. There’s no harm in lifting from your peers if you sound good, and Mage sound great. Tracks like ‘Rust’ and ‘Super Supremacy’ are full of attitude and powerful riffs, emphasised by thick chunky bass that gives this quintet even more roar. Every self-respecting rock and metal fan should get this. I, for one, am seriously impressed.

Buy ‘Black Sands‘ here
Stream ‘
Black Sands‘ below:

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All other Witch Hunter releases and related merchandise can be located at the label’s official store.

Peter Clegg

NB: The label kindly provided promo on this occasion.

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